RUNCORN FC Halton prepare for their UniBond League Challenge Cup semi final at Farsley Celtic this Saturday with the club's financial situation again providing cause for concern.
Players at the club have not been paid for several weeks which perhaps sheds new light on the dip in form - a decline which has left them in deep relegation trouble.
Runcorn's appearance in the Cup semi finals for the first time in 25 years should have been a welcome diversion from their relegation dogfight.
Instead, it is a potential way of easing their financial predicament.
If Runcorn can win at Farsley, they would be guaranteed £1,000 in prizemoney and the winners of the competition will pick up £3,000.
But despite the Linnets putting up a good performance in the abandoned league game at Thostle Nest last week, it's a big if - particularly as the squad is becoming increasingly agitated about the non-payment of wages.
There was no official comment from the club yesterday - chairman - Dr Dave Robertson being unavailable as the Weekly News went to press.
However, it is known the players have not had any wages for six or seven weeks.
Dr Robertson, who was out of the country last week, was due to meet player-manager Steve Carragher over the issue yesterday in the hope of a solution to the immediate difficulties.
Although it seems the club is likely to meet its short-term playing obligations, its longer-term viability may now well hinge on new investment being found.
The club has stumbled from one financial crisis to another in recent years - having to sell Canal Street to pay off spiralling debts and then being forced to quit Halton Stadium, when they found the annual £60,000-plus-VAT rental too much.
In the summer, Dr Robertson set in place a 'three Rs' policy at the club - regrouping, refinancing and redevelopment - after relegation from Conference North.
He was also hoping to announce the appointment of three new board members.
This failed to materialise, although he is still endeavouring to bring in the people concerned.